Historic Buildings Consultant

Former Regent Theatre, Bournemouth, Dorset

Former Regent Theatre, Bournemouth, Dorset

Former Regent Theatre, Bournemouth, Dorset

The Regent, which until February 2017 was a six-screen cinema, was built in 1929 as a 2,300-seater 'super cinema' by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres. At the time of its opening, it stood at the forefront of the neo-classical 'hard-top' style of cinema construction under the influence of the great American movie palaces.

Having been taken over by Gaumont British just after it opened, the building was renamed the 'Gaumont' in 1949 and in the early-mid 1960s played host to some legendary live performances, none more so than the week-long residency by The Beatles in 1963. The building closed for 'twinning' in 1968 and reopened with two screens in 1969.

The cinema closed in 2017 and remains vacant. Having carried out several inspections of the building in 2016, we discovered a significant amount of surviving 1920s fabric and decorative elements, previously thought to be lost. We prepared a full Historic Building Appraisal of the theatre, which included an assessment of significance and of the scope for change.